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I bought this kettle for Mum and Dad a few weeks ago. We all liked the shape and the handle which reminded us of old kettles but with a modern twist.
We bought it from Wilkiinsons and went home anxious to try it. This is where the problem began.
We rinsed it out well and were happy with the ease of pouring. The water level was easy to see and it switched on off with no problem. When we tasted the tea we had just made the water had a definite unpleasant taste to it. We left it full of water with sodium bicarbonate dissolved in it for two days but we could still taste and smell a metallic taste which was very disapointing. We rang Russell Hobbs and explained the problem and they sent us a different kettle which we actually prefer! It arrived in four days and we have made excellent cuppas with it. Great customer service but a shame about the kettle. The customer services thought that it might be a reaction with the chlorine in the water. Apart from that problem and the lid being a bit difficult for my Mum to take on and off it is a satisfactory kettle which holds 1.6 lt of water. It is relatively quiet and the round shape is very pleasing. The water level is easy to read and there is a light on the front to indicate that the kettle is on. It is easy to pour which is an important plus and the shiny body although a bit difficult to keep clean does look very smart. The cord is kept nice and tidy in the basewith the flex being about a half metre long when extended. This could do with being longer in my opinion as it restricts where you can use it a little.
When you don't have a lot of money for furniture plants can add a lot of punch for very little outlay. This is definitely the case for Devil's Ivy an easy to care for plant with large shiny green, heart shaped leaves that grows so fast you have to invest in a machete.
Although we had two Devil's Ivy plants in our previous flat "Godzilla" was a present from friends who moved away . They are inexpensive to buy and very easy to find in your local garden center. Don't buy a big one, there is no need as they grow so quickly.
The correct name for this easy to grow climber-trailer varies depending where you are. Devil's Ivy "Scindapsus aureus" in the garden centre or Golden Pothos in the US. It is easy to recognise with it's large green heart-shaped leaves with varying amounts of yellow splashed on the leaves. The largest leaf on Godzilla right at the top is a whopping 8" long and 6'' wide. Our leaves are mainly a lovely dark green with a few splotches of yellow but if you want a little more yellow go for the Golden Queen variety.
Once you have got your plant you may decide that you want it to grow upwards in which case buy a moss stick around which it can climb and cling to with it's aerial roots. If you prefer to have it artistically trailing down out of a basket, no problem just let the stems droop down out of your container or basket.
They like average warmth between 50-55f in winter and a well-lit but sunless spot which makes them so useful in a home where you need a corner filled up but choose carefully as the varigation will fade if it doesn't get sufficient light. Also be sure to keep them out of draughts.
How to water.
She should be watered well during spring to autumn and let the compost dry out slightly between waterings. Water sparingly in winter and don't forget to mist, they really like that. I use an old cleaned out window cleaner bottle and spray down the moss stick. Think about this when you are choosing a spot for your plant as you don't want soggy curtains or a wet plug.
How to get more little devils.
Simply choose a few stems which have the buds of the aerial roots showing and plonk them in a jar of water in a shady place and leave for a couple of weeks. The jar will soon be full of roots which you can then plant out. Not only do they provide colour and interest in your home but they also filter out toxins in the air and appear in the NASA clean air study which was developed to help clean the air in space stations. Just one word of warning do not let your dog or cat eat the leaves as they are toxic to pets
Agua Fresca de Rosas as the name suggests, is a delightful fragrance by the Spanish fashion designer Adolfo Dominguez. His range is so popular in Spain that when I go into our local Post Office the girls behind the counter can tell me which one I am wearing!
Although I would not normally choose a rose fragrance for myself this was a gift and has proven to be a lovely wearable fresh rose fragrance. I think it is the freshness that I enjoy. It was launched in 1995 as a refreshing version of rose fragrances with green notes. The nose behind this fragrance is Joan Bruges and consists of :-
Top notes; Bulgarian rose.
Heart Notes: Jasmine and Lily of the Valley
Base notes: Sandalwood, Oakmoss, Musk.
The packaging is quite plain and elegant, a white box with a small gray pattern on it and Agua Fresca de Rosas written in itallics.
The simple bottle is plain but feminine consisting of four flat sides of clear glass curving at the top to the gold coloured collar on which is written Adolfo Dominguez above which is the spray. The round bottle top is made of clear glass and the fragrance itself is clear. The whole effect is simple, elegant and feminine.
One little spray and you get that lovely scent of cut roses, almost as if you have walked into a florists. It is not cloying but feels uplifting and light with just a hint of musk. A little later the jasmine and Lily of the Valley join in but not enough to overshadow the rose. A couple of hour on and it mellows down into a gentle, comforting fragrance of sandalwood and oakmoss, touched with musk soft and slightly powdery but still with the thread of rose running through it. There is just a hint left six hours later so another burst is needed. Although it does not have a strong sillage, it is still instantly recognisable! This has been described as being a true Bulgarian Rose and I discovered that this fragrance is obtained from the damask rose, Rosa Damascena, as opposed to our better known cabbage roses. The petals are gathered by hand before dawn. Could you get more romantic than that?
It is a delightful rose fragrance, uncomplicated fresh and bright at a very reasonable price. My bottle of 60ml costs around 20euros, about 15 pounds and it is also available in 120ml and 200ml. It makes you feel that you are walking in a swirl of roses. I think that it is suitable for day use and frequently use it just to give myself a boost and I can understand why it is so deservedly popular. The perfumes of Adolfo Dominguez are sold in many good supermarkets in Spain for example Mercadona and El Corte Ingles and it is really worth having a look through his range.
4 out of 5 for a lovely rose fragrance.
Recently some good friends of ours moved house all the way to France. Just before they left they cleared out their cupboards and we were gifted with a lot of goodies. Amongst them was a bottle of Daddies Brown Sauce which I had never tried being an HP fan myself.
I put this down to the unattractive packaging which always reminds of cartoon colours. The plastic bottle is flat sided and shaped so that it is easy to handle. The main colour of the label is dark blue with the Daddies name highlighted in bright orange rimmed in yellow as are the labels on the front and neck of the bottle. There is also a fist giving a thumbs up sign (I assume that's Daddy) which is surrounded by the logo , Full of flavour. It might be but the packaging is awful!
Daddies was launched in 1904 and is said to be very popular in chip shops in the North, Midlands, Wales and West Country.
During World War II, according to Heinz website, the female workers in the Daddies factory became known as "Daddies Girls" and would often send sauce packages to soldiers on the frontline with notes of encouragement attached. This led to many firm friendships and one or two marriages.
Can this sauce inspire a friendship?
It does have a feisty taste, spicy and vinegary and just a little bit sweet. I'd say that it is tastier than HP but then I'm from the North! It is not too thick and is easy to control out of the flip top lid. The squeezy plastic bottle also does away with the problem of a too large blob of sauce landing on your chips. The colour is a rich brown a little bit grainy on the plate but very tasty with both the vinegar and the sweet ingredients coming through.
What makes it so tasty?
They're not going to give away all their secrets but here are the ingredients on the bottle:-
Spirit Vinegar, Water, Glucose-Fructose Syrup, Molasses, Malt Vinegar (from barley), Sugar, Dates, Modified Cornflour, Rye flour, Salt, Spices, Flavouring.
As for allergy advice it states that it contains gluten Barley and Rye.
I will not bore you with the nutritional advice as most people, like me, just have a splash on their plate but the salt equivalent for one 15g serving is 0.2g, 6g being the advised daily limit.
I really like it! It is excellent with all things like bacon and eggs and ham. A splash livens up a stew or casserole, a soup or spaghetti sauce, or shepherd's pie. Use it as part of a BBQ sauce or a marinade. It's really versatile and of course with good old fish and chips.
I have overcome my prejudice about the label and if this is more economical than HP I'll be buying Daddies.
Prices 1.39 pounds for 400g 1.85 pounds for 600g .Available in most supermarkets.
5 out of 5 for Daddies.
Following my 5 out of 5 review which I gave Patak's Pasanda cooking sauce I decided to try another in the tasty Patak's range. This time the Korma Sauce which is also mild and creamy. Just how I like my curries and very simple to use
This is similar in appearance to the Pasanda sauce being a light mustard in colour and comes in a glass jar which holds 450g of the tasty sauce. The labeling is colourful, bright purple and pink with “Patak's Original” displayed on the front and “Korma”, with a description of the sauce appearing below. “ A rich creamy coconut sauce with delicately balanced aromatic spices.”
On the reverse of the jar are the instructions which really could not be easier, this amount serves 4:-
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large pan.
Add 4 diced medium sized chicken breasts and stir fry the meat until sealed and browned. About 5 minutes. (You can use prawns or lamb if you like and add your choice of veg too. I have used onions and mushrooms which were very successful.
Pour over the jar of sauce and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
How easy is that?
Once the lid of the jar is open you can smell the spices and creamy coconut. The sauce is thick and I scrape out the jar with a spoon and occasionally add a splash of water to the jar and whizz it round to get every last bit out. Patak's do stress that once opened the contents must be used immediately so do not keep any back. There is ample for four people. I stir the curry once or twice but after that there is really nothing else to do.
The result is a creamy, tasty chicken curry for a minimum of effort. You can taste the spices and coconut and the consistency is rich and thick, just right. Great when you are in a hurry. I have served it with rice and also my husband likes it with chips. The only reservation that I have is that the Korma sauce is a bit too sweet for me.
If you do have allergies please check the ingredients as it contains mustard and milk and may contain traces of peanut or tree nuts
Contains no artificial colourings or flavourings.
Suitable for vegetarians.
Ingredients:- Water, Cream (8%), Creamed Coconut, (7%), Sugar, Desicated Coconut, (5%), Vegetable Oil, Onion, Modified Maize Statch, Concentrated tomato Puree, Spices, (Contains Mustard), Lemon Juice, Salt, Ginger, Lactic Acid, Garlic, Dried Coriander Leaf.
Although this is too sweet for me it is a good mild sauce that I think will be a hit with children and those who like a mild curry. I bought mine on special offer for 1.00pound, normally they sell for around 1.87pounds.
4 out of 5 from me.
I have now just come to the end of my very first bottle of Nando's Hot Peri-Peri sauce and it won't be the last. I bought this because I could not find my usual chilli sauce and I had vaguely heard of Nando's, ( I live in Spain) so I thought I would give it a try.
It comes in a glass bottle with a screw on top. Both have a picture of the Portuguese cockerel on them which confused me a little until I learned on their website that the forbears of the makers of this delicious South African sauce, come from Portugal.
On the front it simply says"Nando's Hot Peri-Peri Sauce" backed by a rather fiery looking red label. On the reverse it gives us the rating of hotness on the Peri-ometer! This is chilli shaped and graduated from extra mild to Extra hot. This one is rated as hot.
We are told that it is a fiery blend of sun-ripened lemons, spices, Peri-Peri (African Bird's eye chillies) and garlic. It also says that Peri-Pari is the heart and soul of Nando's and the secret ingredient behind Nando's restaurants worldwide. All very impressive but what about the taste?
Orange brown in colour the first thing that you notice, having first shaken the bottle, is the spicy smell with a hint of lemon in it. It is not too thick and you have to be careful not to our too much of it out. Use a spoon! Straight up it is very spicy and I tried it this way for the sake of the review. I did hop around the table a little but I could still taste the lemon and garlic through the heat. It is not just hot.
I find it gives a lovely boost to whatever I am cooking particularly stews and soups. Giving heat but with flavour too. I have added it to chillies, of course, homemade beefburger, spaghetti dishes and used it mixed with Greek yogurt as a dip. This last one is my particular favourite. Add to your taste and dip away.
I like it as does everyone in the house and I will buy it again. It's going to get a lot of use and I will try pthers in their range. My 250 ml bottle contains 50 servings and is now on offer at 1.87 instead of 2.48 at Asdas.
5 out of 5 from me.
Water , White Vinegar , Lemon (6%) , Onion , Salt , Serrano Chilli , Vegetable Oil (Sunflower Seeds) , Spices (including African Bird's Eye Chilli - Peri-Peri Chilli) , Garlic , Stabilisers (Xanthan Gum, Propylene Glycol Alginate) , Antioxidant (Calcium Disodium EDTA) .
Thanks for reading.
The colours of the flag of Andalucia in southern Spain where I am fortunate to live, are green and white but at this time of year it should be changed to brilliant orange. This is because winter is the season of oranges. They are everywhere. Sparkling against the glossy dark green leaves on trees in the squares of the tiny white villages clinging to the side of the Sierras. For sale in huge bags by the roadside for a few euros. The orchards in the valleys are heavy with them.
What has this to do with the lovely eau de toilette by Adolofo Dominguez? This fragrance to me is the essence of winter in Andalucia. A sunny fresh citrus scent guaranteed to brighten up any gloomy winter's day.
Launched in 2002 by fashion designer Adolfo Dominguez it is an orange blossom fragrance which combines the essences of orange blossom with Neroli, Petitgrain, fresh citrus and wood notes.
Everything about it is delightful including the price! My 100ml bottle came in a white box with an attractive design of white orange blossom, green orange leaves and the lovely sunny fruit in orange. In the centre of this design is a white "A" for Azahar which is the Spanish word for orange blossom.
Open the box and you will certainly be impressed for the elliptical bottle is like Lalique or an Arte Deco design. The front of the bottle is frosted glass embossed with the same attractive design as on the box. The "A" being clear glass as is the reverse of the bottle. Above it's square shoulders the neck of the bottle is surrounded by a gold coloured collar on which appears Adolfo Dominguez. The top is a weighty flat frosted stopper. The whole is a very attractive and classy bottle.
One little spray and you are instantly lifted by the sparkling citrus orange blossom. After 20 minutes or so it develops into the heart notes of Neroli and Petitgrain, calming and uplifting at the same time with just a hint of bitterness. Both these ingredients come from the bitter orange tree. Later the base notes of woody orange bark appear. soft and powdery and comforting. I find this the most feminine part of the scent with the theme of orange blossom running through it all.
It is one of my favourites. Feminine, uplifting and comforting as well. It can be worn by any age and although it fades away after four or five hours a little top up and you are back in the orange grove. It does not have a strong sillage but I find it is strong enough for my taste.
Also it is very affordable. In Spain it is sold in good stores like El Corte Ingles or Mercadona for around 26euros. On Amazon.co.uk for GBP 22.
For this price you get a charming scent, a stunning bottle and transported to Andalucia without leaving your home.
5 out of 5
In our guest bathroom we have a matching set of Molton Brown Rose Granati hand wash and hand lotion. I save this for our guests as it is a bit special but don't be fooled by the name, there's not a rose in sight as Rose Granati is Moroccan for pomegranate whose rich juice, full of vitamins and protective tannins, are used in this luxurious hand wash.
Molton Brown are a rather classy company that started as a hair dressing salon in 1973 at 58, South Molton Street in London´s Mayfair . Their plant based beauty products started life being mixed by hand above the salon by Dale Daxon Bowers formerly employed by Mary Quant and are used by luxury hotels and airlines and are now sold in over 70 countries.
The hand wash is clear and comes in a 300ml understated see-through plastic bottle about 6" high with the Molton Brown motif on the back in rich plummy aubergine. The hand wash has the smallest hint of gold and pink to it. On the front of the bottle appears in a dark fawn colour "Molton Brown,London" and almost at the bottom ,rosé graniti, fine liquid hand wash. The amount, 300ml, 10fl oz also appears. The dark brown pump dispenser at the top sits on a shiny silver neck on which Molton Brown is embossed.
On one side of the bottle we are encouraged to " Refresh your hands with this sparkling blend of Moroccan Pomegranate and essential oils. More caring than soap, hands are left hydrated and supremely cared for while oils of ginger, laurel, black pepper and cardoman leave the skin with a warm spiced aroma."
Use and Opinion.
Simple, one push of the nozzle and sufficient of the clear almost gel-like scented hand wash arrives in you palm. Add water and wash! It foams up into warm scented froth very easily and gently cleans your hands. Once washed it rises off easily and leaves your hands soft and clean with a warm, haunting exotic scent(definitely different) which refreshes as well. The spicy scent lingers for hours and I can always tell if a guest has used it!
It is, to my mind, very expensive for a hand wash at around 19 pounds for 300ml but if you are looking for a quality gift or something that is used by the best airlines and hotels, Molton Brown is the one for you.
Have a look on their website for special offers. This hand wash is sometimes known as Pomegranate and Ginger, whatever it's name it is gorgeous.
4 from me as it is so expensive!
In the last few weeks we have had some serious alterations done in our apartment in the form of three new sliding doors that open up onto our terrace. The amount of dust caused by removing wall etc has been truly enormous. If you can remember the scene in "The Scorpion King" when the desert rises up and buries them all you would not be far wrong.
With all the dust and cement and just all the upheaval I've found that I've ended up with really dry and cracked lips. They looked and felt like they had had a hard time. That was until I remembered that I had an almost new tin of "None of Your Beeswax" Lip Balm by Lush. I normally wear a lip balm with a high SPF as I have some sun damage on my lips and I had put this to one side.
Lush, like to keep their packaging to the absolute minimum and this comes in a little shiny round tin with a bright green label and a short description, "Coconut oil balm for supple, lemony smackers."
On the reverse of the 8g tin are the ingredients which contain lots of soothing and moisturising oils I do like to know about ingredients and lots of information is available on the Lush website, www.lush.com along with how they select their ingredients in a sustainable manner and do not test their products on animals.
Could it do the trick?
Once you have unscrewed the lid you can smell a scent which to me is just like a lemon chocolate cream in a box of chocolates! The balm is a honey colour and doesn't look very appealing but the texture, is soft and spreadable even in this cold weather. It smooths easily across my lips and does not drag like many stick lip balms. There is a tiny bit of graininess maybe because it has such a high quantity of Shea butter.
The scent is lovely and the effect for me is instantly soothing. It does not leave my lips sticky and gives them a nice sheen. The butters, Shea, Murumuru and Cupuaca (how exotic they sound!) along with extra virgin coconut oil are emollients, moisturising and nourishing the lips. The scent is provided by vanilla extract, lemon and mandarin oil. The whole is a delightful balm which is suitable for vegans as it doesn't contain any beeswax!
Yes it did work and extremely well too. I am now using it two or three times a day and have happy, soft lips. Only a tiny amount is needed from my little tin which is just as well as 10g costs 5.75 pounds on the Lush website. My tin was a gift and if only it had a high SPF factor in it I would use it all year. As it is I will enjoy my gift through the winter as well as my new windows.
This morning I demolished a large bowl of porridge over which I had drizzled Lyles Golden Syrup. It was so delicious that I felt it deserved a review!
Although many of us will know the famous green and gold tin I do prefer the easy pour bottle as it is just that. My bottle contains 454g of the lovely clear, almost amber coloured syrup which you can clearly see in the transparent plastic bottle. The iconic golden lion and the bees appear on this label as well as on the tin. The neck of the bottle has the lion motif in raised plastic which makes the bottle easy to hold and the slight squeeziness of the bottle means you can get the quantity you want without any trouble. The top closes well and if you give your wrist a little twist after pouring., you can avoid any drips down the side of the bottle.
On opening the easy flip lid you can smell the deep, sweet smell, like caramel and vanilla. It pours easily onto porridge or toast leaving a honey coloured trail. When added to baking I find it has the same intensity as honey and adds a richness to whatever you are baking. Flapjacks are my favourite baking use and the taste is sweet and satisfying.
Pass the "Goldie" Please.
Golden syrup started as a result of sugar cane refining. In 1881, Abram Lyle produced a rich, golden treacly syrup from his sugar refinery on the Thames. He called it "Goldie" and it was so popular that he had to stop selling it from casks and devise the green and gold can that we all associate with Golden Syrup.
Being a man with strong religious beliefs he used the quote from the Old Testament," Out of the strong came forth sweetness" and the famous lion and bee logo was born.
Famous Golden Syrup users include King George V who gave it a Royal Warrant and Scott of the Antarctic who took a supply with him in 1910. The tin was discovered in 1956 still in good condition!
Fast forward to 1996 when my "easy pour" bottle is designed. Now there is a Baking Bottle and a Breakfast Bottle but I am quite happy with my easy pour.
Sometimes you need calories, don't you?
I know it's not low in calories but a little does go a long way.:-
Carbohydrate 77.5g of which sugars 77.5g
As it says on the bottle it's " a little taste of yesterday today..." and a lovely rich deep taste too. It's versatile and in this format, easy to use both for cooking and for everyday use. For me it is an ideal alternative to honey which satisfies my occasional craving for something sweet. It has no E numbers and has both Kosher and Halhal certificates. for delicious recipes I would recommend you visit lyesgoldensyrup.com
I paid around 1.30 pounds for 454g
Just before Christmas we were burgled. The rotters came in whilst I was working away from home and actually took the safe out of the wall! I didn't have a lot of things in the safe but bits and pieces of sentimental value. I was then very happy to find that I still had this watch which was given to me as a leaving present a good few years ago. I had put at the back of a drawer meaning to put it back in the safe and forgot! Ha ha thieves.
I'm going to review it before they come back.
This is a lovely, simple, classic looking watch from Accurist which I wear when going out. The face is round with awhite background about 2.25cm across and is about 0.25cm thick which sits well on my skinny wrist. With it's gold hands and black roman numeral numbers it is easy to read and has an elegant look to it. The bezel is also in gold and simple pulls out a little so that you can easily adjust the time. I have had complicated digital watches before that have taken ages to change the hour in spring and autumn and have even had to take instructions on the plane with me. This suits me just fine.
As I live in Spain I like the bracelet to be comfortable when it gets very hot. This bracelet does not irritate my wrist and seems to remain cool where other resin bands get all hot and sweaty. I occasionally give it a clean with an old toothbrush and a little soapy water to get sun tan cream out of the links.
As I have a skinny wrist I had all of the links taken out that were possible and although it is still a little loose I can wear it comfortably. The clasp is small, about 2cm in length and has never opened by itself unlike other watches I have had.
The two tone band is elegant. It is what is known as PVD which mean Physical Vapour Deposition, or gold plated to you and me. This is actually better for a watch strap as pure gold is too malleable and would bend with use.
I have had the battery changed a couple of times but it is an excellent time keeper and I'm really glad I didn't put it away safely.
My watch was bought in Gibraltar and as it was a present I do not know the exact price but Accurist watches are very reasonably priced and I think you could get a similar one for under 100 pounds.
I'm going to give it 5 out of 5.
I am lucky enough to have an adorable 'golden retriever mix dog which came to us from the local rescue center. She came with a very wobbly tum and a sad history. Now she is a bouncing floozy of a dog like Marylin Monroe in dog form.
Jess easily adapted to our life which involves boats and soon became a happy salty sea dog. So happy that she started to mess about and play to the crowd when it came to getting up gang-planks and we were all worried about whether she and the rest of us would end up going for a cold, early bath.
Either Jess stopped messing about or she would have to stay at home.
The next time we went to the boat we stopped off at Morrisons where I surreptitiously bought a box of Winalot Shapes. Ever conscious of Jess's wobbly tum I went for the best that I could get. I chose Winalot because it is a reputable brand providing dogs with food since 1927. It is manufactured by Purina and I was confident that they would have good quality ingredients.
My 800g box is a green cardboard box with a lip on the top of the box which helps it to close. The box has "Winalot Shapes." clearly marked on the front and the back of the box and the various shapes displayed on the front. The shapes are as follows. Hearts, stars, bones, fish,flowers and a sort of black arrow. Between them they provide antioxidants, calcium, Vit D and other vitamins. Fibre and omega 3 and 6. A large range of good things for my dog.
The biscuit are about 1" across and have a good crunchy texture and do not fall to bits in your hand or pocket. Also, and this is important, they hardly have any smell so your coat pocket does not honk of dog biscuits!
On the side there is a easy to use daily feeding guide depending on the weight of your dog.
We are advised to use the biscuits as a reward or a treat and as a help to training. The size of the dog's meal should be altered depending if you are giving them a few or a lot of treats. You should also supervise your dog whilst giving them the treat.and have fresh drinking water always available. They should be stored in a cool and dry place and have a long use-by date. My box has a long date and should be used by March 2016.
I have not listed the ingredients but Jess has not suffered any upsets as a result of eating about 6 a day. Some owners might not like that they contain colourants.
Did it Work?
One single, little wave of a Winalot Shape and Jess is up that gangplank whatever the weather, without a single hesitation. Just up-and-away. I'm going to start eating them myself.
The 800g box sells for 1.75, the bigger 2kg bag for 3.25
I am an occasional coffee drinker as I find tea more refreshing but in the winter a when we have friends in the house, it is nice to have a good cup of coffee. With this in mind I was looking at the coffee aisle in Morrisons a few weeks ago and spied an offer at half price for Douwe Egberts Pure Gold instant coffee. It's original price of just over 6.00 pounds for 190g is outside of my price range but at half price AND in a beautiful glass jar which would look perfect on my new glass shelf in the kitchen, I gave in to temptation.
"No ordinary coffee, no ordinary jar."
Douwe Egberts are a company that have been blending and roasting coffee for over 260 years and this coffee has turned me into a dedicated coffee drinker. The glass jar which holds my Pure Gold medium roast coffee is just over 7'' tall and 3.5'' wide with a round glass lid that, once the paper quality seals are broken you twist and pull to open (the first few times are quite difficult). Circling the jar is a gold label with Douwe Egberts in dark brown. This coffee is right in the middle of the mild-dark range which is indicated by a scale of 1-5 on the front of the jar being number 3, smack in the middle.
On the reverse we are told that this coffee is made from a blend of the finest quality beans to make it a well balanced and aromatic coffee, perfect at any time of the day. I did look at their website to find out if I could, what kind of beans they use but they are keeping this a secret. I also discovered that they had to redesign the top of the jar as some people found it too hard to open so don't be surprised if you buy this and have trouble for the first few times.
I add boiling water to a teaspoonful of the light brown freeze dried chips and at once a lovely coffee aroma tickles my nose. I drink mine black without sugar and the dark brown liquid has an almost velvety feel to it in my mouth. It has, to me, a quite strong but not harsh taste without any bitterness and I can certainly tell that it is a premium blend. It is a delicious coffee and I have tried it with a little sugar and milk and also black with a tot of whisky to which I could easily get addicted!
Yes it is expensive and I will keep it as a treat or for guests. I would certainly be proud to serve this coffee to anyone. The only drawback is the price so I shall wait for another special offer to add to my collection of two jars.
4 out of 5 from me, 5 if it had been a bit less expensive.
We always have a bottle of Vosene medicated shampoo in the house. Mainly it is my husband that uses it but occasionally I will exchange my usual shampoo for a wash with Vosene to control my light dandruff just to make sure it stays light!
Vosene has been around a long time, I can remember my Dad using it and that is at least 50 years ago so I am familiar with it's rather strange smell which has not changed over the years which always reminds me of creosote. What has changed is the shape of the bottle which is now like an elongated tear with a flip up top on which it stands if you see what I mean. The colours haven't changed much either. The bottle is a bright green with the top being a lime green. All in all it's been given a revamp which I think has worked well.
On the front we are told that it is the same trusted formula and that it is suitable for daily use on all hair types which is true as I have dry hair and my husband has greasy hair. It also says that it is for dandruff prevention and works from the first use. Having in mind that coal tar was one of the original components was mystified not to find it listed in the ingredients on the reverse but noticed that Salicyclic Acid is now included. This is claimed to be highly effective against dandruff so I did a little research to see why the change had occurred.
Vosene was first marketed in 1949 indeed using coal tar as one of the ingredients but in 1997 its use was restricted in the UK for use as a cosmetic ingredient. Because so many people (like my Dad ) wouldn't use anything else, a product call Clibazole was substituted which had the same characteristic smell and colour. In 2008 Salicylic Acid was introduced which according to Wikipedia, "Opens clogged pores and softens and loosens dry and scaly skin." The same colour and fragrance has been retained because people are so familiar with it.
Lesson over. I apply a good blob of the clear brown, fairly thick liquid. It does looks a bit like treacle, and spread it through my wet hair and give my hair and scalp a good old scrub. It lathers well and I can instantly smell the familiar coal tar smell. After, as directed, leaving it on for a minute I wash it out and am left with clean wet hair. I then apply whichever conditioner that is in favour at the time.
Does it work? Yes it does for me and for my husband who uses it as his daily shampoo as he is much more prone to dandruff than I am. He has used other brands such as T Gel which is quite good and Head and Shoulders which didn't work at all for him and we have never used it again but I do believe that it has a different active ingredient. It leaves our hair soft and clean and definitely keeps the dandruff at bay. I personally will always use a conditioner afterwards as my hair is so dry and I prefer a different smell! If you do suffer from dandruff try Vosene, it might suit you as much as it suits us.
4 out of 5 from me because of the odd smell.
Vosene Original costs 2.00 pounds a bottle for 250 ml and can be bought in many supermarkets and I believe is currently on special offer at Tesco at 1.33 pounds. the bottle is recyclable and the contents have a 12 month life once opened.
I am very fond of the Alberto Balsam range of shampoos and conditioners. I find them to be very reasonably priced at around 1.00 pounds for 40 ml. They clean effectively and have luscious fruity scents such as blueberry and raspberry which, combined with the matching conditioners, suit my tough, coloured hair.
This morning I used "Sun Kissed Raspberry" shampoo. Even the name cheers you up on a grumpy winter day. It's packaging is a simple frosted, tube-like bottle plastic bottle (which once cleaned out can be reused). Through this can be seen the rather lurid pink shampoo. No shrinking violet this, it's certainly pink. The label says that it is a moisture splash for normal/dry hair.The top is a simple black flip up top. Easy to open one handed with your thumb and closes with a good strong click. The label on the front has some juicy raspberries on it, good enough to eat.
On the reverse, and I like this bit, it tells us that it uses many of the same ingredients that you find in more expensive brands but at a great price. In this case the shampoo contains chamomile extract which softens hair and juniper extract which improves texture and gives hair a sheen. it also promises to cleanse, revitalise, moisturise and strengthen as it contains pro-vitamin B5.
Once the bottle is open you can smell the juicy raspberry scent, sweet and tart all at the same time. Once applied to wet hair, (it doesn't turn it pink!), the scent increases along with plentiful amounts of lather. After a good scrub, the lather washes out easily and leaves my hair feeling clean and nicely scented. The scent will last into the next day. I find I have to use the matching conditioner as my hair is particularly tough and my hair will be left feeling a bit harsh without. This does happen when I used the shampoo on it's own. The combination of conditioner and shampoo suits me just fine leaving my hair soft and clean.
A fruity smelling, easy to like shampoo for a great price. Maybe not for the men but I can recommend the Mint Tea Tree shampoo from the same range for them.
For me, I would give it 4 out of 5 stars only because the Blueberry version is my current favourite.